A number of people have been in contact regarding the surface water on Buckstones Road, Shaw (above and below 300 Buckstones Road).
I have pursued the matter with the Highways Department and I have the following to report.
Highways have been on site a few days ago and opened up the channel behind the kerb line and cleared all gullies.
There is an issue lower down with water coming off private land that Main Drainage Department is dealing with but does not appear to be the main reason for the current surface water in this area.
The opened channel is now capturing any water coming from the embankment before it reaches the highway.
The Drainage Section are due to start their investigation on the 16 November.
As people will be aware 2 sets of temporary signals have gone up on the above road.
I have been informed this is due to two emergencies along the Shaw Road and Oldham Road route.
The 1st set at Oldham Road, Heyside was due to a gas leak and the signals will be taken down by Thursday (16/17/2017) at the latest.
The 2nd set of signals are at Shaw Road’s junction with Windsor Street. These are for a water burst in the carriageway and will be taken down by end of play Wednesday (15/11/2017).
The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has condemned the decision by the Labour-controlled Greater Manchester Combined Authority to increase Metrolink fares by almost 6% from January of next year, well above inflation, as “another blow for hard-up passengers”.
Councillor Sykes represents Oldham Council on the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.
“This decision made by the Labour Leaders of nine of the Greater Manchester local authorities, with the support of the Greater Manchester Mayor and the Tory leader of Trafford Council, shows how out of touch they are with the financial situation of many tram passengers. This increase comes on top of an increase of 3.6% in fares on our railways which were introduced in July of this year.”
“This is the first of three years of pain as Metrolink fares will be steadily increased year on year, but the pain will not end there as from January 2021, fares will increase annually by 1% above inflation.”
“Labour complains constantly about Tory austerity and wage freezes in the public sector and then hits passengers who are feeling the pinch with unremitting fare increases. This is simply not fair – Metrolink is in profit. We should be encouraging more passengers to use the service and cracking down on fare evasion to increase revenue not hammering the fare-paying passengers who already use it.”
Councillor Sykes is also concerned about the impact this increase may have on our environment: “I repeat the comments that I made in advance of the rise in rail fares in July. Price hikes discourage rail use and encourage passengers to get back in their cars increasing air pollution and traffic congestion – this is not good for us or for our planet or Greater Manchester.”
The Leader of the Opposition and of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jean Stretton, requesting an update be brought to the next Council (Wednesday 8 November) for the consideration of Councillors.
Councillor Sykes explained: “I first wrote to the Council Leader at the time of the referendum requesting an impact assessment and this was kindly circulated to elected members. A further report then followed in December 2016, but this was almost twelve months ago and a lot of water has gone under the Brexit Bridge since then so an update is now in my view urgently needed.”
Councillor Sykes is particularly concerned to see what the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without an agreed ‘deal’ might mean for the citizens and economy of Oldham.
He added: “Although this initially seemed an unlikely outcome, recent statements by senior Conservative Government ministers and the slow progress of talks have made me more fearful that not only may this happen, but that it is increasingly likely.”
Councillor Sykes has specifically asked the Council Leader for information about the likely impact of Brexit on:
- Oldham’s social care workforce
- The loss of the structural investment funding that was previously secured for the Borough from the European Union; this is estimated to be £8.4 billion per annum across the whole of the United Kingdom
- The loss of a formal means of consulting local government which is currently made available by the EU through the Committee of the Regions
He explained: “A significant number of social care workers within the UK have come to our country from other European countries to carry out this necessary and demanding role. The vast majority of these employees work diligently, patiently and sensitively to ensure that the needs of our elderly and disabled residents are met.”
“My worry is that such workers will perceive the UK as becoming a less inclusive and more hostile environment as Brexit approaches, with requirements for them to register with the authorities to continue to work and – I regret – reports of abuse and on occasion assaults being carried out on EU citizens in increasing numbers.”
“In such an environment, I, for one, would not blame them for wishing to return home but this would result in a situation where there may be insufficient British citizens to fill these vacancies. How then can we ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable people continue to be met?”
“I have asked the Council Leader to advise me how many of the employees in Oldham’s social care workforce are from EU nations, so that we can begin to plan to meet any recruitment shortfalls.”
Councillor Sykes is also concerned about the loss of EU grants to a deprived Borough like Oldham.
He said: “Although, in the referendum, there was a lot of talk about how much EU membership was supposedly costing the United Kingdom taxpayer, there was little discussion about how much was returned to the UK by the European Union in grants. Approximately £8.4 billion per annum came back to this country as structural funding; much of it to the more economically and socially deprived areas, of which Oldham is unfortunately one.”
“I have asked the Leader to identify how much Oldham will lose in structural development funds after Brexit takes effect. We have a lot of regeneration projects going on in our Borough, and my concern is that some of these may not be able to be delivered without EU funding.”
The third area of concern that Councillor Sykes has is the loss of influence that local government will have in government decision making after Brexit.
“At present, local government is formally consulted by the European Union on its proposals via a formal mechanism, the Committee of the Regions. There currently appear to be no proposals by the UK government to replace these arrangements after Brexit. I have asked the Leader and Chief Executive if they were join me in lobbying UK government to agree to replace these consultation arrangements after Brexit takes place. As Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Local Government Association I am also myself able to put pressure to bear on Ministers in the corridors of power.”
The text of the email from Councillor Sykes to Councillor Stretton
From: Howard Sykes
Sent: 26 October 2017 17:19
To: Cllr J Stretton
Cc: Carolyn Wilkins; Paul.Entwistle@oldham.gov.uk; (A) Kay Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Re-evaluating the Impact of Brexit on Oldham Council and our Economy
Did mean to raise this at group leaders early this week.
Re-evaluating the Impact of Brexit on Oldham Council and our Economy
In advance of Council, I wanted to write to you to request an update in the next Green Book (or at the latest for the December meeting) on the likely impact of Brexit.
Our last update was in December last year, and I would particularly like to receive an update of the impact on our economy of the worst-case scenario – where the United Kingdom exits the European Union without an agreed deal.
Although this initially seemed an unlikely outcome, recent statements by senior Conservative Government ministers and the slow progress of talks have made me more fearful that not only may this happen, but that it is increasingly likely.
I am particularly concerned about the impact of Brexit on local government in three regards:
– The impact on our social care workforce
– The loss of £8.4 billion in structural investment funding
– The loss of a formal means of consulting local government which is currently made available by the EU through the Committee of the Regions
So I would like to raise three specific questions with you that relate to these:
– What percentage of the social care workforce in Oldham are EU citizens?
– How much structural impact funding will be lost to Oldham and what will be the impact?
– Assuming Brexit happens, will you and the Chief Executive join me in lobbying government to ensure that post-Brexit, the government will give local councils a formal consultative role? I will of course also do my best through the Local Government Association to pursue this agenda.
Many thanks for your attention to these matters
Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Opposition. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Oldham Council. Member for Shaw Ward. Member for South Ward Shaw & Crompton Parish Council. Office: Room 343, Level 3, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham OL1 1UL. T: 0161 770 4016 F: 0161 770 4026 E: email@example.com W: http://howardsykes.mycouncillor.org.uk Twitter: @Howard_Sykes Facebook: /Councillor Howard Sykes Home: 5 Ballard Way, Shaw, Oldham OL2 8DU
The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has welcomed a recent speech by Transport Minister Chris Grayling promising: ‘more electrification in and around Manchester, and looking at electrification as part of passenger improvements across the Pennines.’
“Like the Minister I too want to see transport put ‘right at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse,’ stated Councillor Sykes. “The one sure way to do this is to electrify the trans-Pennine rail link between Leeds and Manchester. Passengers using Oldham Borough’s only rail station would benefit from this as this link serves Greenfield.”
Councillor Sykes represents Oldham Council on the Transport for Greater Manchester committee.
“Although certain sections of the press have previously reported that the Government has already cancelled plans to electrify the Leeds – Manchester line, this is erroneous; in fact the government has only cancelled proposals to electrify the Sheffield, Windermere and South Wales lines,” said Councillor Sykes.
“My understanding is that the option to electrify the Leeds – Manchester line is still on the table as part of an ongoing bigger review of government spending on rail investment in the north which will be published later in the autumn. The Minister’s comments have indicated that electrification is still a possibility so we need to continue to put pressure on Ministers to make it so,” he added.
“The Liberal Democrats on Oldham Council and Transport for Greater Manchester want to see a far higher level of investment in the North’s railway infrastructure and rolling stock, which has been neglected for many years,” said Councillor Sykes. “The one way to improve rail punctuality and efficiency, which is environmentally-friendly, is to replace old smoky diesel trains with new electric trains.”